The Ins and Outs of Bulk Mailing for Adventist Churches

Lori BallMarketing Tools, Uncategorized

Before we dive in, know that SermonView has you covered. 

US Postal service systems and regulations have been changing at a faster pace in the last 5 years than ever before. We work hard to keep up with everything, so you don’t have to worry about it. As policies and postage rates change, we’ll let you know about what impacts you, and we’ll find the solutions for the rest.

For most of the people reading this, you can stop here knowing that we’ve got you covered. However, if you are thinking about doing a mailing yourself, continue reading for some things to keep in mind as you plan your next mailing.

The unique way Adventist churches do mailings

We know the Adventist church is already different in our message to the world, so it’s no surprise that the way we do bulk mailings is just as unique. In 2022 SermonView sent out event invitation mailers on behalf of churches to over 3 million homes. Those are the kinds of numbers you would see mostly from businesses, not churches, who would need to hire a professional mailhouse to handle that kind of volume. And while secular mailhouses handle business and non-profit mail all the time, most don’t handle Adventist mailings very often, which they don’t realize needs additional effort and care, especially when they are time-sensitive for reaping or bridge events.

What exactly is specific about how our church does mass mailings? We don’t stop at “non-profit” or “saturation” like many other churches do, we utilize all of the USPS systems established to reach more targeted areas of our communities. It takes a bit more work and understanding of the postal systems, but you can optimize mailings even more to get the best postal rates available, and increase the likelihood of timely delivery that many commercial printers don’t take the time to utilize for their church customers.

What to ask if hiring a secular bulk mailing company not familiar with Adventist needs.

If you decide to hire a secular bulk mailing service provider in your area, here is a list of specifics we recommend you check on up front to make sure they are going to be able to provide your church’s unique mailing needs:

  • Can you use the Adventist denomination’s non-profit church status? As part of the denomination, I have access to get non-profit saturation mailing rates without requesting my own permit. (Be sure to have paperwork ready for them if needed.)
  • Can you create my targeted list of direct mailing names and addresses that is: saturated, presorted by zip code, carrier route and uses walk sequence, or is that something I need to provide?
  • Confirm they can ship your mailers to the local SCF(s) and that they can get delivered there within a short, specific window before your event.
  • Confirm your postage rates are the best you can get.
  • (If they are printing the mailers) Can you design my marketing mailers or do you have templates that include mailing area so I can have it designed according to USPS mailing regulations for non-profit flats? 
  • (If they are not printing your mailers) Find a professional local printer who can design the shape and size of your mail piece to still guarantee your mailers are setup according to USPS regulations and that they can deliver the product on time to your bulk mailing company for processing the addresses.
  • Give your mailing list a final review to ensure the recipient addresses are set up correctly.
  • Confirm the mailhouse transported your mailing to the post office, and that they are tracking it to confirm its delivery.

How to do it yourself

If you are not going to use a bulk mailing service, you won’t be able to get the same lowest non-profit bulk postage rates, but you can still get a discount from standard first-class mail through something called Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM for short. While this is a great option, it does come with limitations and requirements that may not work for your church’s needs. 

The Biggest advantage to EDDM is you won’t need to get your permit cleared ahead of time. Mailing permits can be pricey and add another level of complexity to the standard mailing process. EDDM mail can be taken to your local post office and with the right setup, can be given to a standard postal worker at the front counter.

Here’s some basic information about what you need to know about this service:
  • EDDM allows you to send targeted mail to specified areas with flats at a discounted postage rate. As of February 2023, according to the USPS website, the cost per EDDM mailpiece is 18.9¢. The current USPS postage rate that you get from SermonView for non-profit, saturation mailing is 10.2¢ for jumbo cards or 11.5¢ per piece for bi-folds. (For reference, standard-sized, rectangular postcard stamps start at 48¢. Oversized postcards need letter stamps, which start at 63¢.)
  • EDDM is for “small” mailings. It only works if you are mailing less than 5,000 pieces. You can do more, but only if you are willing to break it up and go in over multiple days for larger quantities.
  • Since EDDM is for small mailings, it can go fast. They typically go out within a day of being turned in to a local facility, making them a better option for churches with little time before a meeting.

EDDM mailings have specific requirements:
  • They have to be a flat (min. 11 ½ inches long and 6 1/8 inches wide) 
  • You have to have this special information in the mailing area:

We’re here to help

Church mailings can be confusing, both for the local church as well as many of today’s print and mail shops. (We’ve even seen USPS employees struggling to keep up with all the changes.) SermonView has spent years exclusively working with local churches and building relationships with USPS professionals to better understand and define the ins and outs of mailing for Adventist churches.

SermonView stays on top of the rapidly changing USPS policies so we can continue to provide the service you know and love. 

Bags or trays? Shipping to the SCF, DDU, or BMEU? Form 3624 or 8125? That’s not your problem, that’s ours. And we don’t mind doing the research needed to stay on top of the rapidly changing USPS mailing policies because that is our ministry gift to you. No matter what changes, SermonView is committed to providing you with the quality marketing, design, printing, and service you’ve come to know and love. As policies and postage rates change, we’ll keep it simple and only let you know about what actually impacts you, we’ll find the solutions for the rest.

If you are considering running a mailing in your area soon, give us a call. We would love to connect with you and see how we can help you share the message of hope and wholeness through Jesus Christ in your community.